“We are joining 401 other national park sites in closing due to the federal shutdown,” Strickfaden said. “What that means is the park will be closed to visitors. We will be furloughing 23 employees, and we will have several employees designated as essential to maintain security, utilities and infrastructure and essential administrative functions only.”
It was much the same way at federal offices throughout the country as employees deemed non-essential were sent home and essential employees carried on key functions.
A recording at the U.S. Forest Service’s Las Vegas Ranger Station notifies callers that “we are on furlough due to the lapse of federal government funding. . . I look forward to returning your message once funding has been restored.”
Mitch Elfers, the chief deputy clerk of New Mexico's federal courts, said Tuesday that U.S. courts nationwide are planning to run that way for 10 working days. If the shutdown continues, more staff could be furloughed and those that are deemed "necessary" will continue to work, but won't be paid until the gridlocked Congress resolves the budgetary issue.
On average, the 17 government shutdowns since 1977 have lasted three days, according to USA Today. The most recent shutdown ended in January 1996, lasting 21 days.
While Cannon’s military personnel will see no lapse in work, just more than 250 of the base’s nearly 400 civilian workers were placed on emergency shutdown furlough Tuesday, according to 27th Special Operations Wing public affairs spokesman Capt. Derek White.
Employees will not receive pay during the furlough.
White also said 135 mission essential civilian workers will remain on the job during the shutdown.
David Varela is a senior at the South Valley Academy just outside Albuquerque. He found out last year that his parents and grandmother are living in the United States without legal status.
“What would happen with my family if they ever get deported?” he asks. Now that he knows, David says it’s hard to keep the possibility his family members will be deported out of his mind: “What am I going to do, where am I going to stay? I don’t know if I could ever survive without them.”
The story is "the first in a two-part series on the toll deportation can take on the children who are left behind" and is a partnership between NM In Depth and the Fronteras: Changing America Desk.
Twenty-nine small businesses signed up for health plans during the first 45 minutes of the Affordable Care Act, said Mike Nunez, CEO of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange. By noon, about 100 businesses had enrolled, he said.
All the companies have a maximum of 50 employees. They could obtain a tax credit by offering an insurance plan for their workers.
Computer glitches plagued the first day of open enrollment throughout the nation.
City Attorney Randy Knudson said the surprise 3-2 vote Thursday may expose the city to potential liability. Knudson said there are serious questions regarding whether Commissioners gave proper public notice, a requirement of the state’s Open Meetings Act.
Knudson noted the Powers matter wasn’t listed as an action item on the Commission agenda. Instead, he said, it was listed as an item for discussion.
So far, the issue of banning late-term abortions doesn’t appear to have gained significant traction in the Land of Enchantment as a whole. A spokesman for Republican New Mexico governor Susana Martinez did not respond to a request for comment on the ordinance.
Two Las Cruces city council hopefuls who had their candidacies derailed when they were ruled to have too few signatures to qualify for the ballot next month are challenging their disqualification. Meanwhile, the approved candidates drew lots for ballot position.
Interim committee watch:
The New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight Committee finishes its multi-day meeting today at Spaceport America. The agenda says a tour of the Spaceport is on tap.
A charter school in the Four Corners area had its application denied, along with three others, the Farmington Daily-Times reported.
Dream Diné was one of five charter schools seeking approval. Two applications -- Health Science Academy in Gadsden and Explore Academy in Albuquerque -- were approved. Dream Diné, the Columbus Community School in Columbus and the RISE New Mexico Charter School in Albuquerque were not approved.
Carolyn Shearman, chair of the state public education commission, said commission members are not commenting on any of the denied applications until written details are released later this month.
A citizen who was suing the city of Raton dropped his lawsuit, saying the city now has better management.
Bob Beaudette, who filed his original complaint last November, filed a motion to dismiss the suit — a motion to which the city concurred — Aug. 28 in District Court. The next day, a judge granted the dismissal.
In summarizing his reason for ending the suit, Beaudette last week said the city’s management is “a lot better than it was,” adding that he thought Butch McGowen taking over as city manager earlier this year was a positive step. Beaudette complimented McGowen’s desire to make sure the city is fiscally responsible.